(Daily Sentinel (Pomeroy, OH) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 06--CHESHIRE -- The application date to apply for HEAP, the home energy assistance program, has been extended to April 15.
An announcement of the extension -- the original deadline was March 31 -- was made Wednesday by David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency.
The program provides assistance to eligible households that are threatened with disconnection, have been disconnected, or if their tank contains 35 percent or less of its capacity of bulk fuel.
"Our heating bills for these cold winter days will come due in March/early April. Extending the Winter Crisis Program allows Ohioans, who didn't think they would need help, the opportunity to receive it," Goodman said.
It was reported that since the start of the program in November 2013, more than 116,000 Ohioans have participated in the program. Goodman said that to qualify for the Winter Crisis Program, a household must be at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. For a family of four, the annual income must be at or below $41,212.50. Individuals interested in receiving assistance must have a face-to-face interview at their Winter Crisis Program provider which is the Gallia-Meigs Community Action Agency located in Cheshire.
Sandra Edwards, the emergency services director for the Community Action Agency, confirmed the extension of the time to apply from March 31 to April 15, and advised that residents may call the Cheshire Office at 367-7341, 992-6629 or walk in to book an appointment. However, she said an appointment may not extend a scheduled utility shut-off.
Emergency HEAP provides assistance to households that have had utilities disconnected, face the threat of disconnection or have 10 days or less supply of bulk fuel. The program allows a one-time payment of up to $175 per heating season to restore or retain home heating services for AEP and Columbia Gas, and up to $450 for BREC and Knox Energy.
For propane and fuel oil clients, the payment may cover up to 200 gallons for propane/bottled gas or fuel oil, not to exceed $750. Clients heating with wood or coal will be assisted up to $350. Homeowners or renters may qualify if their total household income is at or below 175 percent of federal poverty guidelines.
The income guidelines for both regular and emergency HEAP programs are the same. However, Regular HEAP requires the previous 12 months income, while the past three months income is acceptable for Emergency HEAP. Documentation verifying all household income must be provided when applying for HEAP. A copy of the applicant's recent electric bill is also required, as is a birth certificate for the primary applicant, Social Security cards for all household members and proof of student identification or report card if over 18 and living in the household. Applicants will also be asked for proof of home ownership or proof of landlord, including address and phone number.
The following income levels by household size should be used to determine eligibility, Edwards said. These income guidelines represent the 175 percent calculation and are revised annually. Allowable annual income for a one person household is $20,108; two people, $27,143; three people, $34,178; four people, $41,213; five people, $48,248; six people, $55,283; seven people, $62,318; and eight people, $69,353. Households with more than eight people should add $7,035 per member to the yearly income.
Applications can be completed in all three offices: Gallia C.A.A. Office, 859 3rd Ave., Gallipolis; Central Office, 8010 N. SR 7, Cheshire; or the Meigs C.A.A. Office at 369 Powell St., Middleport. Applications will be taken by appointment from 8:30 to 10 a.m.
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